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The Ultimate Big Island, Hawaii Accommodation Guide: Where to Stay and More

The Ultimate Big Island

Planning your vacation in Hawaii? Whether you are going alone or spending quality time with your partner or family, the diversity of the Big Island promises a wealth of adventure and recreational opportunities for visitors of all ages. From colored sand beaches and lush rainforests to volcanoes and snorkeling sites, the largest island in Hawaii features a rich variety of stunning landscapes, climate types, and the bluest waters your eyes will ever see.

But first, where to stay on the Big Island? Plan ahead and get to know the available vacation rentals for a stress-free vacation! Read on to learn about top recommendations and advice on choosing the ideal vacation rentals. This guide will help you make informed decisions and help you plan your trip so you can have a memorable and relaxing stay on Hawaii’s biggest island.


When deciding where to stay on the Big Island for your great Hawaiian adventure, vacation rentals are an excellent choice.

  • Vacation rentals often provide more space than traditional hotel rooms. You’ll find everything from cozy condos to spacious beachfront houses.
  • Vacation rentals are homier and more comfortable.
  • Vacation rentals offer more privacy than hotels. You can have your own space and private amenities and enjoy a more secluded environment away from crowded areas.
  • Vacation rentals are more flexible when it comes to check-in and check-out times, fewer restrictions, and short- or long-term stays.
  • Vacation rentals can be more cost-effective if traveling with family or a group.

Here are some of the most recommended vacation rentals that will help narrow down your options of where to stay on the Big Island.

Puako: Easy ocean access and snorkeling fun

Puako is a charming beachfront community on the Kohala Coast offering vacation rentals with direct access to beautiful beaches and excellent snorkeling opportunities. This magical neighborhood is one of the sunniest destinations in Hawaii, where you can experience a unique blend of old Hawaii charm and one of the most pristine coastlands on the islands. Enjoy waking up to the sound of the sea, swaying coconut trees, and tropical breezes. As the day ends, you will witness one of the most stunning sunsets in the world.

  • Hale Ama

    Hale Ama

    Hale Ama is a gated oceanfront villa with a lush tropical landscape. The rental property has a 2-story main house and a guesthouse, accommodating up to 8 people. Hale Ama is designed for relaxed and luxurious Hawaii-style living, showcasing approximately 7.000 square feet of beautifully crafted living space and 2,000 square feet of covered lanais.

    The main house has a living room with 27 feet of folding glass doors opening to a covered lanai, providing spectacular views of the ocean. The fully equipped modern kitchen on the first floor has a bar, an expansive entertainment room with a 50-inch flat-screen TV, a queen bedroom with a full bath, and a guest bathroom accessible from the beach. The second floor has 2 king bedrooms with bathrooms en suite, and 1 with a private lanai. If you plan to work remotely, the villa has a home office with internet, a computer, and a printer on the second floor.

    The separate guest house behind the main house is a cottage with 2 bathrooms and a primary bedroom with its own bathroom. It also has a dining area, a modern kitchen, a flat-screen TV, and its own lanai.

    For availability and pricing information, visit this page.

  • Ohana Hale

    Ohana Hale

    This 2-story designer-furnished house has 2 primary bedrooms and 1 large bedroom, 4 bathrooms, and can accommodate up to 8 people. As you walk into this vacation rental, the sight of the sea welcomes you, and its location directly behind a short seawall provides amazingviews from every room in the house. The earth and island colors, art, and quilts in all the rooms establish harmony with the location.

    The great room is made up of the kitchen, dining, and living areas and features hardwood floors, high ceilings, elegant fans, and the main attraction, the ocean views. The modern kitchen with its generous counter space, utensils, kitchenware, and bar stools are perfect for the vacationing group to gather. Next to the kitchen is an office with an extra sleeping area, built-in desktops, and high-speed WiFi. This rental is also environmentally friendly as it is fully solar-powered.

    For availability and pricing information, visit this page.

  • Hale Ohana

    Hale Ohana

    This rental boasts a 2,200-square-foot living area. Built in 2002, the house had an extra bedroom and bathroom added in 2012. It now accommodates up to 8 people. This vacation rental was designed in old Hawaii estate style with 1,100 square feet of lanai, screens, and sliders that fully open. The louvered windows encourage the tropical tradewinds to keep the home cool and comfortable even if you don’t use air conditioning.

    The ocean side of the property, with the lush tropical landscaping, is protected from saltwater damage by a seawall. After a day of golf or tennis at one of the nearby resorts, you can come home to refresh in the dipping pool just outside the north bedroom wing. After that, you can retreat to the hammock tied between two tall coconut palms to nap or chill to the sound of the rolling waves. The covered lanai has built-in cushioned seating for two, teak lounge chairs, a dining table, and a serving area with a sink – perfect for a romantic outdoor dinner.

    For availability and pricing information, visit this page.

  • Puako Paradise Beach Villa

    Puako Paradise Beach Villa

    Looking for a luxury retreat at the Puako Paradise Beach Villa? This Balinese-style rental features a unique floor plan covering approximately 4,000 square feet. It has 3 primary suites and a detached apartment that can accommodate up to 10 people. All the suites have private entryways and offer remarkable ocean views. This luxurious, contemporary villa and all its ADUs (accessory dwelling units) are rented as one. None of the additional dwellings can be rented separately or individually.

    The additional suites of the Puako Paradise Beach Villa are:

    • The oceanfront Hula Suite features a king bedroom with a private bathroom and an indoor soaking tub. The suite accommodates 2 guests and features a private lanai and entry. The Hula Suite also has a covered outdoor shower.
    • The Mango Suite is another oceanfront dwelling. It features a king bedroom with a private bathroom, an indoor soaking tub, and an oversized walk-in shower. This suite also has a private lanai and entry.
    • The Plumeria Suite is a split-level with 1 king bedroom on the lower level and 1 queen on the upper level. The suite can accommodate up to 4 people and has a kitchenette, a full bathroom with a shower, and its own balcony with an ocean view.
    • The Ohana Suite has ocean views, a king bedroom, full kitchen, private bathroom with shower, and a private lanai. The suite is also equipped with beach gear and an outdoor shower.

    For availability and pricing information, visit this page.

  • Top-floor unit in the Puako Beach Condominiums

    Top-floor unit in the Puako Beach Condominiums

    Sweeping ocean views, cool Hawaiian breezes, and amazing sunrise and sunset views can be enjoyed from this southwest-facing unit on the top floor of the Puako Beach Condominiums. When you visit in season, you can even witness resident spinner dolphins and humpback whales right in front of the lanai.

    The unit features a kitchen that is fully equipped, and an outdoor area with an electric grill perfect for afternoon or evening BBQs. All linens, towels, and a starter supply of paper goods and soaps are also provided. The rental unit is in the well-maintained condominium complex featuring gardens with tropical flowers, and mango and citrus trees.

    The sandy beach is just across the street, allowing you to bring the condo’s complimentary towels, chairs, and coolers to the beach – or when you explore nearby Paniau or the beaches at Hapuna State Park. Get your provisions at the Blue Wilderness Store and Dive Shop next to the condo. You’ll find everything like food and groceries, snorkel and dive gear for rent, and bookings for boat trips to nearby reefs.

    For availability and pricing information, visit this page.

  • The Puako Penthouse

    The Puako Penthouse

    Puako is a prime location when it comes to where to stay on the Big Island in Hawaii. The Puako Penthouse is one of the most recommended condos to stay in if you want to enjoy morning walks to the ocean and some of the best snorkeling and diving spots in the friendly neighborhood.

    This unit for rent in The Puako Penthouse is newly upgraded and has a prime spot as an end unit on the top floor – providing amazing ocean and mountain views. During the winter months, you can spot the area’s famous humpback whales giving birth to their young. This home away from home has 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and can accommodate up to 6 guests. The local fish market, farmer’s markets, and resort restaurants are nearby.

    For availability and pricing information, visit this page.

  • Puako Beach Condo

    Puako Beach Condo

    One of the best things to do on the Big Island is experience the different water activities. Renting this newly renovated Puako condo unit allows you to do so. The beaches are just a short walk away, with plenty of shallow sandy bottoms where you can launch a kayak or a stand-up paddleboard.

    This beach condo is located on the third floor of a well-maintained building with meticulously tended grounds of mature palms and plumeria and other tropical flora. The unit features 2 king beds and 2 bathrooms and can accommodate up to 4 people.

    For availability and pricing information, visit this page.

  • Hale Puako

    Hale Puako

    This old Hawaii oceanfront paradise is a 2-story house that can accommodate up to 6 people. It’s got 1 king bedroom with an ensuite bathroom and a shower and tub, 1 queen bedroom, and a loft with 2 twin beds. This double A-frame home is located in one of the best seaside locations in Puako, giving you dramatic views and private access from the yard to the ocean.

    The rough-hewn vaulted ceilings and tall windows provide amazing views of Maui, the Kohala Mountains, and Puako Bay. Enjoy outdoor relaxation in the home’s front lanai or the wind-protected sunbathing deck, or play with the kids or friends in a yard shaded by mature trees and shrubs. The unit also has a separate primary suite with a private balcony where you can witness the spectacular Pacific sunsets. Close by are the charming Puako General Store, Waialea Bay, and Hapuna Beach, one of the world’s best beaches.

    For availability and pricing information, visit this page.

  • Hale Moe’ Uhane

    Hale Moe' Uhane

    If you are looking for unique things to do on the Big Island, the Hale Moe’ Uhane, or Dream House, has easy access to the beach where you can explore the lava pools or swim with the sea turtles. Just offshore are world-class snorkeling and scuba diving sites.

    This 2-story rental has 3 primary bedrooms and 2 secondary bedrooms to accommodate up to 6 people. A haven for the young and old, this impeccable property features a luxurious, private outdoor shower ensconced by lava rocks and bamboo. Teens (and adults, too) will love the open-air recreation room located underneath the house at ground level. It’s got a ping pong table, a daybed, lounge chairs, side tables, and area rugs which make it a great place to hang.

    On the second floor, the open floor plan, windows, and sliding doors allow you to enjoy the trade winds that freely flow throughout Puako. This 2,500-square-foot rental has brand new furniture and a fully stocked kitchen. There are indoor and outdoor dining areas and a wraparound lanai on the upper level. To the west, you can enjoy the views of the ocean, and to the east, panoramic mountain views.

    For availability and pricing information, visit this page.

  • Hale Kohola

    Hale Kohola

    Looking for where to stay on the Big Island with a big group? Hale Kohola is a 3-story house in the heart of Puako with 4 king bedrooms and 5 bathrooms that can accommodate up to 10 guests. This rental property frames Haleakala, Maui’s highest peak, directly from the gorgeous lanais across the heated infinity pool.

    Hale Kohola is over 7,000 square feet. With the Hawaiian surroundings serving as a spectacular backdrop, the property itself is an architectural masterpiece. The open-plan living, dining, and gourmet kitchen area with cathedral ceilings opens to one of several lanais. When in season, you can spot humpback whales from the third floor, which gives you 360-degree views across land and ocean. Nearby, you’ll find kayaking and snorkeling opportunities featuring pristine coral reefs.

    For availability and pricing information, visit this page.


The bustling town of Kailua-Kona on the western coast of the Big Island offers a variety of vacation rentals like condos to beachfront houses. The area is known for its beautiful sunsets, water activities on the stunning Kona beaches, and proximity to popular attractions like the Kona Coffee farms and the historic Hulihe’e Palace.

  • Oceanfront Estate

    Oceanfront Estate

    This luxury oceanfront estate is a 3-story rental in the northern part of the gated community. It has a floor area of 5,875 square feet and boasts 5 king bedrooms that can accommodate up to 12 persons. If you’re thinking of where to stay on the Big Island, this rental has an unobstructed view of the beautiful coastline, with a beach that’s seen plenty of christenings, proposals, and wedding ceremonies. The area directly in front of the house is considered one of the most revered, as Kama’aina (children of the land) honor their ancestors here.

    Aside from the 180-degree view of the shoreline, the details of this rental speak to the quality of the home. These include mahogany gates, a tropical meditation garden with a cascading waterfall , and a pond leading to the grand entrance. The house itself is open concept, the living area furnished with Restoration Hardware furniture and an 80-inch TV. The open kitchen boasts high-end quartz finishing and top-of-the-line appliances. There is also a smaller, detached kitchen where you can do the cooking, leaving the bigger kitchen open to entertaining.

    The outdoor area also features Restoration Hardware patio furniture, daybeds, a concrete table, dining chairs, and an infinity pool with the Pacific Ocean as the backdrop. The outdoor area seamlessly connects to the built-in BBQ area.

    For availability and pricing information, visit this page.


Located on the northwest coast of the Big Island, Kohala is known for its luxurious resort communities and beautiful vacation rental properties. It is a popular destination for tourists visiting the Big Island because of its stunning landscapes, beautiful beaches, and numerous outdoor activities.

  • Kohola Lani

    Kohola Lani

    The single-story Kohola Lani accommodates up to 6 people with its 2 king and 2 queen bedrooms. At the front door, the postcard-pretty view of the Pacific welcomes guests. This rental knows no season because there is always something of interest happening year-round – from whale-watching in the winter to 24/7 sunsets to panoramic views of the ocean enjoyed from the covered lanai.

    Even on cooler days, the private solar-heated pool invites you to take a dip. An outdoor grill makes it convenient to barbecue the fresh island seafood available at the nearby fish market.

    For availability and pricing information, visit this page.



Now that you have options on where to stay on the Big Island, you must understand what things to consider when choosing a vacation rental. These tips will help you have a memorable and enjoyable experience.

  • Location

    Decide on the area of the Big Island you want to stay in, such as Kohala Coast, Kona, Hilo, or Volcano Village. Consider what type of surroundings you prefer, such as beachfront, rainforest, or rural setting.

  • Size and accommodation
    Assess the size of your traveling group and choose a vacation rental that can comfortably accommodate everyone. Check the number of bedrooms and bathrooms to ensure it meets your needs.
  • Amenities

    Make a list of essential amenities you want your accommodation to have, such as a fully equipped kitchen, air conditioning, WiFi, pool, hot tub, and parking.

  • Proximity to attractions

    Consider the distance from the vacation rental to the attractions and activities you plan to visit. Being close to your points of interest can save time and transportation costs.

  • Budget

    Set a budget for your vacation rental and search for properties within your price range. Remember that prices may vary based on location, size, and available amenities.

  • Policies

    Check the rental’s policies on check-in and check-out times, cancellations, and refunds. Having flexible policies can be helpful if your plans change.

  • Reviews

    Reading reviews from previous guests can provide valuable insights into the property’s condition, cleanliness, the accuracy of descriptions, the responsiveness of the host, and overall guest satisfaction.

  • Photos and descriptions

    Carefully examine the rental property’s photos and descriptions to get a clear idea of what to expect. Look for recent and high-quality images that accurately represent the rental.

  • Responsive host

    If you have any questions or specific needs, communicate with the property owner or manager. A responsive and accommodating host can enhance your vacation experience.

  • Booking in advance

    The best vacation rentals, especially in hot vacation spots like the Big Island, tend to be fully booked quickly, so it may be better to start searching and make reservations in advance.


From top recommendations on where to stay on the Big Island to the best and most unique things to do on the Big Island, you can trust the team at Hawaiian Villa Rentals to assist and guide you throughout your stay.

For the best accommodations that will enhance your ultimate Big Island adventure, get in touch today with Hawaiian Villa Rentals by calling 808.247.7521 or browsing the available rentals here.

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